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You and Yours
     

You and Yours

5.0 1
by Naomi Shihab Nye
 

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In You and Yours, Naomi Shihab Nye continues her conversation with ordinary people whose lives become, through her empathetic use of poetic language, extraordinary. Nye writes of local life in her inner-city Texas neighborhood, about rural schools and urban communities she’s visited in this country, as well as the daily rituals of Jews and Palestinians

Overview

In You and Yours, Naomi Shihab Nye continues her conversation with ordinary people whose lives become, through her empathetic use of poetic language, extraordinary. Nye writes of local life in her inner-city Texas neighborhood, about rural schools and urban communities she’s visited in this country, as well as the daily rituals of Jews and Palestinians who live in the war-torn Middle East.

The Day

I missed the day on which it was said others should not have certain weapons, but we could.
Not only could, but should,
and do.
I missed that day.
Was I sleeping?
I might have been digging in the yard,
doing something small and slow as usual.
Or maybe I wasn’t born yet.
What about all the other people who aren’t born?
Who will tell them?

Balancing direct language with a suggestive “aslantness,” Nye probes the fragile connection between language and meaning. She never shies from the challenge of trying to name the mysterious logic of childhood or speak truth to power in the face of the horrors of war. She understands our lives are marked by tragedy, inequity, and misunderstanding, and that our best chance of surviving our losses and shortcomings is to maintain a heightened awareness of the sacred in all things.

Naomi Shihab Nye, poet, editor, anthologist, is a recipient of writing fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim foundations. Nye’s work has been featured on PBS poetry specials including NOW with Bill Moyers, The Language of Life with Bill Moyers, and The United States of Poetry. She has traveled abroad as a visiting writer on three Arts America tours sponsored by the United States Information Agency. In 2001 she received a presidential appointment to the National Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Redemptive moments and struggling households from south Texas to the Middle East dominate the ample, likable latest collection from the prolific Nye (The Space Between Our Footsteps; Fuel, etc.), whose Palestinian-American heritage forms part of the staging of these poems: "What countries may we/ sing into?/ What lines should we all/ be crossing?" her opening poem asks, and the two halves of her volume provide calm answers. Part one covers Nye's personal experience, at home with her child in San Antonio or as a "Frequent Frequent Flyer" enjoying the sights of Scotland. Witty prose poems alternate with clean-lined, moving verse reminiscent at times of Stanley Kunitz. Part two covers the Middle East with indignity and compassion, considering the blameless citizens for whom "to be able to say/ this is a day and I live in it safely,/ for those I love, was all." Nye has produced several volumes of poetry (and a novel) for children and teens: the careful simplicities (and the attempted optimism) here sometimes keep younger readers in mind. Yet she retains a grownup's sense of our common failings, as when she compares Palestinians in particular, and human beings in general, to flying cranes: "If the ground satisfied their dreams," she muses, "the sky would miss them." (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781929918690
Publisher:
BOA Editions, Ltd.
Publication date:
09/01/2005
Series:
American Poets Continuum Series
Pages:
104
Sales rank:
647,906
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.20(d)

Meet the Author

Naomi Shihab Nye, poet, essayist, anthologist, has been a recipient of writing fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Witter Bynner Foundation/Library of Congress. Author of more than twenty volumes, her recent books include Mint Snowball and 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East which was selected as a National Book Award finalist in 2002. Her books of poems include Fuel (BOA Editions) and Red Suitcase (BOA). Nye's work has been featured on the PBS poetry specials NOW with Bill Moyers , The Language of Life with Bill Moyers and The United States of Poetry . She has read her work on National Public Radio's Prairie Home Companion. Poetry editor for The Texas Observer, Nye has worked for as a visiting writer in schools at all educational levels. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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You and Yours 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'What countries may we/ sing into?/ What lines should we all/ be crossing?' Naomi Shihab Nye writes poems of grace and humor and wit and tension and ache and remembrance and longing - and of everyday life. Such a sweep of huge ideas comes from her intelligent pen! Living in San Antonio, Texas with her child encourages her to observe the fundamentals of living, of loving, of finding the beauty/spiritual in all things. These poems of Part One of this extraordinary collection are about living.Part Two contains the poetry that speaks most clearly to this reader. While she is always competent to address the darker side of all things in her poems of Part One, in this second body of work she turns her vigilant eye to the horrors of war, giving words to the overwhelming facts of tragedy, death, inequity, and all the unimaginables that escort war in the Middle East - no, in all wars. 'There is no 'stray' bullet, sirs./ No bullet like a worried cat/ crouching under a bush,/ no half-hairless puppy bullet/ dodging midnight streets. The bullet could not be a pecan/ plunking the tin roof,/ not hardly, no fluff of pollen/ on October¿s breath, no humble pebble at our feet....So don't gentle it, please....This bullet had no secret happy hopes,/ it was not singing to itself with eyes closed/ under the bridge.' Perhaps it is her Palestinian-American heritage that makes her insight into the ongoing elegy for the Middle East so poignant, or perhaps it is simply that she is a very fine poet, a seer able to paste together the minutiae of living each day with the epoch of facing war head on. She has the gift and we are the better for it. Grady Harp